The Dictators' Guide to Good Housekeeping / Valerie Wallace

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 Valerie Wallace‘s poems appear most recently in Waccamaw, Margie, Potomac, Valparaiso Review, and Santa Clara Review. She received awards from the Illinois Arts Council and Illinois Center for the Book, and fellowships from Writers in the Heartland and Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Valerie works with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, is an associate editor of RHINO Poetry, and leads poetry workshops throughout Chicago.

Limoncello in Positano

The glass is wet from the sea rising.
I consider the lemon cleaved open, bright
and lonely; a quilt of leaves, warm as sex.
Soon I'll walk out to the dark night
where old men line the shelf on the curve
because the moon is settling blue in the fog.

The yellow bowl of defeat and fortune
flips. Desidero un biecchiere di tulipani.
Conceive red peppers, migrate toward
peaches: at night it’s the throb of fat lemons
that swell a landscape. I think: You will never
make a regular journey of walking home.

I want to hold moments like this in my mouth
because they will not line my veins forever.
I sip limoncello in Positano. The sea stirs below,
trucks quiet their motors. The beautiful woman
who kicks dogs carries boxes of fruit inside.